The Designer-Contractor — ways of (counter-)working together, Symposium

The Office for Public Play organised a symposium on the role of the designer as ‘contractor’ in participatory design projects with children and young adults. The symposium took place on February 22th and was hosted at HDK Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg.

This half day symposium assembled MA child culture design-students and stakeholders of the Björkås’ activity park as means to prepare for developing this participatory design project. The three invited speakers, Kerstin Bergendal (artist, PARKLEK project), Amanda Larsson (artist, Magisk trädgård project) and Markus Miessen (architect and spatial designer, Crossbenching practice), shared their perspectives and knowledge by presented their work. This input served as base for further reflection and discussion between the students, stakeholders and invited speakers to kick off the collaborative process. The main question that directed the presentations and discussion focussed on the role of making contracts that prescribes ways of working as well as making contracts / contracting (as verb) as a way of performqing participatory design practices and this in relation to the different actors involved in such collaborative, participatory design processes.